Recipe Mama

Capsicum stuffed with rice June 14, 2009


I thought I’d give this a go, to see how it worked.  Not bad I thought (except the kebabs were overcooked)

Flavoured Rice
I cooked the rice in a rice cooker, as normal, but added some finely chopped  garlic, onion, mushrooms, a teaspoon of vegetable stock, and a teaspoon of lemon pepper …. it was delicious!


Then when that was cooked I spooned it into hollowed out capsicums and put those in the oven for about 15-20 mins to cook the capsicum.  I served them with chicken and vegetable kebabs, corn and broccoli 🙂   The rice works just as nicely not served in a capsicum too… you can serve it straight from the rice cooker.


Lower fat white sauce December 13, 2008

Filed under: Condiments & Dips,Cooking Tips — obsidian @ 11:38 am

I never see the need for butter in white sauce. (usually a white sauce calls for butter and flour to be mixed together then add milk) Simply put a few tb flour into the saucepan, add a little milk and blend until smooth, then add more milk to make enough sauce. Add cheese or seasonings and you don’t notice the lack of butter.

With Cream based sauces (such as for pasta), often evaporated milk will give a similar taste, with less fat.


Baby Food/Quick Veg Iceblocks

Filed under: Cooking Tips,For Kids — obsidian @ 11:20 am

These are actually really handy to have around so you can pop one (still frozen) into a risotto or something too.

To do these just get the vegetable (for example pumpkin) – steam them separately until soft (steaming is best as it retains more of its goodness) then mash and spoon into icecube trays. Cover with clingwrap, or put the icecube tray into a large airtight container, and place in the freezer overnight. In the morning, take the icecubes out and place in a ziplock bag (labelled) in the freezer, so you’ll always have some on standby. You can do pretty much any vegetable, and then just take out a couple and heat them up as needed.

I always liked to keep vegies separate and not blend them together, so bub can learn the taste of individual foods, but you can do some mixed vegies ones too.

These are handy to use when out, as you can put the frozen cubes in a container, bring a spoon and by the time you need to feed bub, the icecubes may have defrosted.

I’ve also boiled some meat until it was very soft and broken it up into fine strands and frozen them with some of the stock from boiling it, and adding those to meals.


Slow Cooker Tips

Filed under: Cooking Tips,Slow cooker Meals — obsidian @ 8:33 am

* Lifting the lid off the slow cooker lets some of the heat (steam) to escape which can lengthen the cooking time by 30 minutes.
* Stirring is generally not necessary until time to serve.
* Your slow cooker should be at least 1/2 full to ensure proper cooking.
* Adapting favourite oven recipes to a slow cooker:
Conventional Oven Baking Time 15-30minutes/30-45 minutes/50 minutes-3 hours
Slow Cooker (High) 1 1/2 – 2 hours/ 3-4 hours / 4-6 hours
Slow Cooker (Low) 4-6 hours/ 6-10 hours/ 8-18 hours
* One hour on high heat is equal to 2 1/2 hours on low heat (heat varies from brand to brand)
* Don’t add more liquid than a recipe calls for, as liquid is retained.
* If there’s too much liquid at the end of cooking time and you want to thicken it, stir in some instant mashed potato flakes, instant tapioca, flour or cornstarch.

(From Anaya from – who got it from a cookbook)

* Spray the dish with cooking spray to stop food sticking
* Cut up the ingredients the night before and have them in the fridge ready to add to the slow cooker next morning.
* Warm rolls for your soup by wrapping in foil and placing on the lid of the slow cooker
* If you coat meats in flour it helps thicken the liquid
* Add dairy products in the last 10 (high) to 20 (low) mins to avoid curdling



Family Pie Tips

Filed under: Cooking Tips — obsidian @ 8:06 am

When making a “family pie” – one large pie to cut up to serve the whole family, I bake this in a springform tin. I find getting the pie out is really easy. I also make a large pie, twice as much as needed, and we have one half one night, and I wrap the other half in aluminium foil and reheat it on low in the oven for another night’s dinner.

Adding rice or pasta to a pie is a good way to bulk it up a bit and make it more filling.


Pastry Alternative

Filed under: Cooking Tips,Ingredients,Pies & Bakes - Savoury — obsidian @ 6:14 am

particularly for mini pies and things…. bread!

you can lightly spray muffin tins and cut a slice of bread into a circle a bit bigger than the space in the tin, roll it with a rolling pin, or press it with your fingers to make it flat, then put it in the tin as you would pastry. Put in your filling, and add a top, ot potato or something… and cook as usual.

You can use something like a soy and linseed bread which gives an interesting texture and is better for you than pastry!


Natural Colourants December 9, 2008

Filed under: Cooking Tips,For Kids,Ingredients — obsidian @ 9:49 am

If you don’t want chemical colourings, try some of these natural alternatives. To get the most colour from the foodstuff, take the food (such as a handful of raspberries) and simmer them in liquid until reduced, then strain and use the liquid. The juice for things like blueberries can be brushed over set icing with a pastry brush.

Turmeric (Use sparingly in sweeter foods as the taste may overpower)

Annatto seed
Carrot juice

Beetroot (Buy beetroot, slice it and simmer it in water, or buy canned)
Cranberry juice

Pomegranate juice

Purple/bluish purple
Purple grape juice
Blackcurrant juice
Red/purple cabbage

Reddish Orange

Freshly juiced spinach
Spirulina (an algea herbal supplement)

Strong coffee